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Independent Contractor

Twenty-factor Test

  1. A worker who is required to comply with instructions about when, where, and how he or she must work is usually an employee.
  2. If an employer trains a worker—requires an experienced employee to work with the worker, educates the worker through correspondence, requires the worker to attend meetings, or uses other methods—this normally indicates that the worker is an employee.
  3. If a worker's services are integrated into business operations, this tends to show that the worker is subject to direction and control and is thus an employee. This is the case particularly when a business's success or continuation depends to a large extent on the performance of certain services.
  4. If a worker's services must be rendered personally, there is a presumption that the employer is interested in the methods by which the services are accomplished as well as in the result, making the worker an employee.
  5. If an employer hires, supervises, and pays assistants for a worker, this indicates control over the worker on the job, making the worker an employee.
  6. A continuing relationship between a worker and an employer, even at irregular intervals, tends to show an employer-employee relationship.
  7. An employer who sets specific hours of work for a worker exhibits control over the worker, indicating that the worker is an employee.
  8. If a worker is working substantially full-time for an employer, the worker is presumably not free to do work for other employers and is therefore an employee.
  9. Work performed on an employer's premises suggests the employer's control over a worker, making the worker an employee. This is especially true when work could be done elsewhere. However, the mere fact that work is done off the employer's premises does not necessarily make the worker an independent contractor. 10. If a worker is required to perform services in an order or sequence set by an employer, the employer has control over the worker that demonstrates an employer-employee relationship.
  10. A worker who is required to submit regular oral or written reports to an employer is likely an employee.
  11. Payment by the hour, week, or month tends to indicate that a worker is an employee; payment made by the job or on a straight commission points to an independent contractor.
  12. A worker is ordinarily an employee if an employer pays for the worker's business or travel expenses.
  13. An employer who furnishes a worker with significant tools, materials, or other equipment tends to show that the worker is an employee.
  14. A worker who significantly invests in facilities used to perform services and not typically maintained by employees (such as office space) is generally an independent contractor.
  15. A worker who can realize a profit or loss resulting from his or her services is generally an independent contractor.
  16. A worker who performs for more than one firm at a time is generally an independent contractor.
  17. If a worker makes his or her services available to the general public on a regular and consistent basis, that worker is generally an independent contractor.
  18. An employer's right to discharge a worker tends to show that the worker is an employee. An employee must obey an employer's instructions in order to stay employed; an independent contractor can be fired only if the work result fails to meet the agreed-upon specifications.
  19. If a worker has the right to terminate his or her relationship with an employer at any time without incurring liability, such as breach of contract, that worker is likely an employee.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationFree Legal Encyclopedia: Hypoxia to Indirect evidenceIndependent Contractor - Taxes, Labor Relations, Economics And Social Policy, Tort Liability, Defining The Independent Contractor